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tv   [untitled]    April 19, 2011 4:30am-5:00am PDT

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the garden was about a month and a half ago. my experience walking in was that i showed my id, i was there with three kids, my kids and another child, i don't believe that my kids attendance was tracked coming in. i lingered by the gate about a minute waiting for the next person to come after me just to see with the experience of that person would be. it was a woman probably around 55 years old. she got to the gate and she looked really agitated and she said the f word really loudly. my kids heard her. i walked up there and i said, what is going on. she said, i come here every day and today i don't have my id and a half to go back to get it. this is the experience that a lot of us have coming here all the time.
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i what dan and i played with my kids and i showed them around and i talked to a gardener and i said, how has it been here with the attendance at the garden? well, the attendance has been down the whole year. we had pretty good attendance during the holidays. overall, it has been down. the people who come here come for the mission of the botanical society. it made me question, what is the mission of the botanical society. i believe that the mission is to make sure that the visitors that come here care about the plants that are there. it also begged me to think about what is the enjoyment of the gardens. how many different ways are
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there to enjoy what the gardens are like. and both are equally important ways to experience the gardens. it is not clear whether that is a casual way to walk through and enjoy the sight which is one that is really well considered by recreation and park and the botanical society. as i was walking out of the facility and i lingered by the gate again, i sought a group of folks approach. they did not want to pay the fee and they walked away. i did not ask them that it seemed clear that they were from out of town and they did not want to have to pay $7 apiece to into the garden. i waited longer, there was a couple that walked up with
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bicycles. they walked up to the gate and they came back. i talked to them. they were san franciscans that did not have their id. this is a sample of me walking in and out of the garden and lingering by the gate no longer than a minute the first time and probably two minutes the second time. no one else came to the gate while i was there. this seems to be a real common experience. we talk about whether this is cost-effective, 59 cents on the dollar, to run the administration of the feet. there are also the costs about diminished attendance, not people coming in, san franciscans and on san franciscans like to enjoy what we have. we are not shari -- sharing the way that we really could. that is my big concern.
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one of my determinations about why i approved the fee last year was the workers. there was a lot of workers whose jobs were tied to the feet and i did not want to come here this year and say that we did not eliminate the fee. i want to help to be told so we
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don't have to come back to have these fees are really diminish the enjoyment of the parks. >> let me respond to a couple of points. i look forward to the conversations that we can have define sustainable operations. we would like to staff every club house. i want to hundred more gardner's in our parks. i want more patrol officers. >> and we can provide the kind of funding in 2009. we should have done this last year but we did not have the ability. >> i live relatively close to the garden and i go there from
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time to time, sometimes with my kids and sometimes myself. i also observed anecdotallynope. -- i have observed this anecdotally. at the end of the year. we will have approximately 45,000-50,000 residents who are contributing enough funding to actually keep the guarding reckoning -- keep the garden running. when you talk about some of the concerns, and i do appreciate the fact that we have had some residents that have been inconvenienced by this. we have had frustrated customers from time to time throughout our operations. we have those that have to deal with the rec center that is
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closed on sundays. we have to deal with frustrated residents that have to deal with our inability to staff the clubhouse. we can cause we have to deal with those who cannot get a water fountain -- we have to deal with those that cannot get a water fountain. hope we are together in that goal. should that feet continued, we would like to work with you to minimize that frustration. >> i will ask members of the public to be respectful as people are talking. when you come up, we will be respectful to you. >> this is about trade-offs. >> i appreciate the fact that your legislation comes to us with the idea of a onetime
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supplemental to get us through the year should this fee and as a result of this hearing. what about next year? one time funding is nice but we have such need frankly, i would propose that we keep the nonresident she and we keep your generous supplemental. -- we keep the non resident fee. >> by rejecting this, it will be on the city to try to do its best to keep the recreation and park department better served by our revenue. >> i very much appreciate the intention is to support our department. your face constantly with difficult trade-offs. is it money for the health department? is it money for the health and
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human services department? so, there are many trade-offs but we are trying to make it easier on you. we have a source of revenue which does not directly impact san franciscans. >> i am not interested in seeing more supplementals that we don't need. >> the way to help the public is to get to public comment. i just thought you were ready to invoke the jerry mcgwire lock exchange with supervisor avalos. -- in your exchange to supervisor avalos. that is why so many of us have rallied in support of the transfer tax. that would help us realize some of the deficit shortfalls in the
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departments that matter to us like of rec and park. i think that that is an important exchange, not one to take lightly whatsoever. i would feel better if what was before us in the data crunching if there was more data on the botanical society in itself. it just makes me feel incomplete in not seen the evaluation of what their books look like -- in not seeing the evaluation of what their books look like. this gives us a thorough assessment to understand money that is going in, money that is going out, and what those agreements mean. we are faced with relying on our own analysts to scrutinize the data that is before us and the ordinance that we write that has to mimic what our expectations
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are. if they don't, then it creates a bit of a confused climate in the deliberation. that is why we are here today. i know rec and park has -- marketing on this but i assume the botanical society has the full disclosure. consultants that are hired on this issue, can you disclose or have someone disclose so we are clear because none of that data is in front of us and it helps us to round out the discussion. >> you will have to ask the botanical society that question. we are not finding any consultants or marketing experts. people that can market are -- our attractions and bring people
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to our facilities, that is what we want. what you talked about in your opening comments, but was so excellent and fantastic about this city. frankly, we wish you would support some funding so that we can find our amazing summer camps and recreational funding so you can help us promote the activities that we have. , i don't know if that is necessarily a dirty word. >> i never even reference to that. it is interesting that you would respond that way. since you did, let's go to the botanical society. this is justice closer we are looking for.
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who have you hired for consulting? how much has been afforded towards consulting? it helps take the suspicion and our imaginations from running wild to is by having this kind of data in front of us. >> how many people are involved? we have one full-time professional and we have a young jobs now person who we just pay the taxes for. this is a federal program. that is it. that is our marketing department. >> consultants, have you contacted at them to assist with the advocacy?
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>> none whatsoever. >> for consulting on advocating for the feet for this effort, has the society contract with any consultants that have assisted? >> we have. we did. when we were pushed, when we were trying to protect ourselves, frankly, and get consultation so we could figure out how to move this forward. that is not our job. we are gardner's. i am in nonprofit administrator, i have done it for years. we did bring in some expertise. >> is that past, present, or both. >> both. >> can you give us an idea of the dollar amount that is being spent on those? >> i believe that you could look
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it up. >> we honestly have no info on this. >> all i'm saying is that this is public record. this is 7500 a month. >> ok. thank you. >> why don't we open the item up for public comment. just a couple of ground rules. i know this is a heated conversation and controversial situation. what i'm going to do, if you hear your name, please line up in the center. the public comment will be two minutes each. i would ask for members of the public to do, as speakers are coming up, whether you agree or disagree, please refrain from clapping, hissing, making noises said that we can get through public comment.
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ok, here we go. >> good afternoon, board members. i present -- i am here today to support the amendment or the ordinance. i am here to support it on a basis that you all know as you can see that we have a sea of labor folks. we think we think that this will impact the labor community, and we hope
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all considerations are being made on that basis. we understand this is an ordinance that is going to cut close to relationships because we all have some great relationships for us here, but we hope that there will be no loss of jobs. we hope that the purpose of this ordinance is it -- the purpose of this ordinance is to make sure that jobs are retained, and we hope that you all as a board understand clearly that from the perspective of the folks from labor, you understand this. let me say this from a personal perspective -- anyone who has ever been to my house would know that i am a horticulturalist. barry green. so this is something very near and dear -- i'm going to bring you over to my house. matter of fact, if you want to look at my phone here, i have a version of all of my different
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plants and stuff. when i was first married, i had 127 plants in my house and one sofa and a wife. that has made a successful 35- year marriage. i want to ask again that you will think about this from the perspective of the labor perspective, and hopefully, you will vote to support the ordinance. i want to thank you all very much. supervisor chu: thank you. and as individual speakers are coming up, please and identify yourselves with your name and please state whether you are supportive of continuing the fee or reversing it. >> my name is cheryl davis, and i support continuing the fee, mainly for the sake of generating revenue at a time when we have, at least in the western addition, service providers and nonprofits coming together to actually staff and key clubhouses open -- keep clubhouses open. they have to take out of their
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budget money to serve the community. i cannot see where we would be offering services to non- residence for free when we're putting the cost of keeping the parks and the clubhouses open on the backs of the people that live there. supervisor chu: thank you. >> i am the executive director of the african-american art culture complex in the western addition community. i am for continuing the fee, primarily because, again, for the second year in a row, we will not have summer school. last year, we had to deal with a lot of kids, and we did not have the capacity to do so. hamilton had just opened up last summer, and it was a big relief for us to have children have an opportunity to participate in that program. again, as i said this year, we will not have summer school. we will have summer school? ok, because i was told we would not. thank you, supervisor kim.
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basically -- well, that is good news, but not necessarily good news for my budget when with the hayes valley club house, i have to take funds away from the resources i have in a letter to help with expenses. otherwise, we would not even be able to open it. i know we are saying that the botanical gardens is a different in your different situation, but to me, it is all the same. the department's begin to look at sustainable revenue is, and i did not think that residents of san francisco should be charged for any of these services. when we look at a resolution, we should be looking at a resolution to cut the fees and make sure they do not get charged to san francisco residents in this case here as far as non-san francisco residents are concerned, at this time and in this budget crisis, unfortunately, i am really not concerned. i am more concerned about
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maintaining the current services, about making sure that the kids we send in the summer to the botanical gardens have the access free at all times. more importantly, this may seem like a small amount of revenue, but at this time in this crisis with close to $400 million in proposed cuts to the city budget, everyone is going to have to pay their fair share. thank you. supervisor chu: 90 of each -- thank you. i know there are a lot of people who might be here for the department of children, youth, and their families item. the department head is in room 348 at the moment and is willing to speak with folks off line first before the hearing because i know that the public comment for this item will take a while. again, if you are interested, you can take a look at that. >> i am the executive director of apri in san francisco, and we
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are in support of keeping the fee. we actually support park and let workers -- park and rec workers. we understand it was intended to protect the workers, so if it is not working as intended, or if there are other funds such as the transfer tax proceeds, as supervisor avalos was mentioning earlier, that is a conversation we would like to have today to cover the fees, but at the end of the day, what we would like to walk out of here with is a solution that guarantees the workers continued to work. thank you. >> hello, board of supervisors. thanks for taking the time to consider this issue today. i am a professional landscape garden and our rarest -- and
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arborist. i have a personal relationship with the botanical garden. when i first arrived in san francisco, knowing few individuals and being low on funds, i would walk around the botanical gardens wondering what to do with my future. that will be something i would not be able to do now for free. later when i decided to make quarter culture my profession, i spent two years working as an intern in the garden, expanding both my knowledge and skills. as one of my fondest experiences, and i'm proud to say i have been a member of the botanical garden society and volunteer ever since. that is until this year because i do not believe i can go on in good faith to continue to support the society, nor the garden, with my time and money while any fee is in effect. i would like to address the arguments often made by the other side. one, that the fee is ok as long as it only applies to out-of-
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towners'. i believe a trait of all great people is how they treat their guests, and increasingly, we treat our guests in san francisco as little more than cash machines. two, that the fee is all right because of the botanical gardens charge a fee. i believe it is contrary to an ideal that most of us hold, the concept of san francisco exceptional some, that we do what is right, not what others deem acceptable. and 3, that this is the cost of having a world class institution. but i ask -- what cost? that these institutions are to be enjoyed by a chosen few? unfortunately, our public places are becoming more like private space than the playground of a healthy citizenry. rachel carson wrote to warn about the dangers of pesticides. now, our public -- [bell rings] supervisor chu: thank you.
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[applause] >> good afternoon. i am the executive director of the hunters point family. we are a nonprofit organization in bayview/hunters point, and i am in support of continuing nonresident fees for the botanical gardens, primarily because i think any revenue generating effort that is done at this time is preferable to the cuts we have seen, specifically in our community, and i know throughout the city, where the most vulnerable among us -- our club houses have been closed. there has been less staff for state recreation and in richmond for families and young people -- and in the richmond for families and young people. while i know it is not ideal, at this time, i believe is important to have sustainable funding. i know what it is like to try to balance the budget, so i think a
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one-time grant for my organization, while that would be something that i would appreciate, i also know that if i had a way in which i knew that i was going to have sustainable funding, that would be more ideal, so i understand how the department is looking at that. the budget will have to be balanced, so i would not want to come from cuts from workers or effective recreation side as well. thank you. >> greetings, supervisors. i am speaking on behalf of park 94124. i am actually agreeing with keeping the fun. maybe if you want to look at lowering the cost or the fee, but i am definitely for generating revenue, and the same thing with the park and ride -- rec dept.'s concern. you just do not see the same caliber.
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also, the concern about the -- i have the same concern when we have those three wins this. however, it is policy, so the next summit come, i will bring the idea, but i have the same concerns about the clipper card. it is all something that we need to go back to the lab and reading, but generating revenues is generating revenues. we are in a deficit, we're not saying you're charging $25 or $30. $5. maybe decrease it or -- maybe decrease it, but continued. when you're talking about common folks who need jobs. they had a boy, he needs to run, needs space. that is the perfect time for him to go do it. he only attends with school, but it is still open for him, and if we need to go, i will just remember to bring my i.t.. [applause]
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supervisor chu: thank you. if i could ask people to keep their applause down. [reading names] m hello. my name is warren robinson. i am speaking on behalf of seiu. basically, i have sat here for at least the last three hours, heard all you great supervisors and phil ginsburg hash out forecasting the budget and all that stuff, but bottom line, with these fees and what he is trying to do with recon park is make it self sustaining so that the workers -- what he is trying to do with rec and park is make it self sustaining so that the workers are more accountable for their jobs.
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i know it is a bitter pill for the rest of the public to go through what he is proposing, and i do not think $7 is too much to ask for just to come visit a beautiful place at the botanical gardens. i have not been there myself. i have seen it from the outside. it is lovely. i am not putting a knock against it. but i do not think it is very much to ask for. and also, every coin that the department makes is saving somebody's job. and every coin that is taken away from us, you have taken away i do not know how many people. that is all i have to say about that. >> good afternoon, supervisors. in the tennis programs coordinator for the recreation and parkar

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